At the end of 2015, Rega signed a contract with Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland (now Finmeccanica S.p.A.) to purchase three AW169-FIPS all-weather rescue helicopters at a cost of over CHF 50 million. However, before these helicopters are delivered in 2021, Rega and AgustaWestland have a number of years of pioneering and development work ahead of them – for no helicopters equipped with an anti-icing system and with the required maximum weight of five tonnes currently exist.
The new helicopter will allow Rega to also fly missions in icing conditions and thus come to the aid of more people in distress than ever before – even in adverse weather. “We believe that the rapid technological advances should also have a positive impact on the medical care we provide to our patients,” explains Rega CEO, Ernst Kohler. Further funds were invested in other projects, including setting up and developing a countrywide network of weather stations and webcams.
Also in 2015, Rega signed a purchase agreement with Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier for three new ambulance jets of the type Challenger 650, costing around CHF 130 million in total. The three jets are scheduled to go into operation in 2018.
For the first time, over 15,000 missions organised within the space of a year
Last year, Rega’s Operations Centre organised a total of 15,053 missions; as a result, Rega came to the aid of a person in need on average every 35 minutes. Both the helicopters and the ambulance jets flew more missions in 2015; the 4.3% rise in mission numbers compared to the previous year is attributable, among other things, to the exceptionally fine and hot summer, which led to more helicopter missions being performed than ever before. The weather in 2015 was characterised by favourable winter sports conditions in February, as well as above-average temperatures and an abundance of sun in the summer. Correspondingly, the number of missions performed by the rescue helicopters registered a significant increase in comparison with the previous year particularly in the busiest months of February (1,220, +15.1 %), July (1,455, +18.3 %) and August (1,464, +8.0 %).
Rega’s three ambulance jets were in operation all over the world and also flew more frequently than in the previous year: in the course of 820 missions (+4.3 %), they transported a total of 825 patients (+3.3 %). On average, Rega organised around three repatriations per day using fixed-wing aircraft during 2015.
Over one-third of the Swiss population are Rega patrons
Rega continues to enjoy enormous support within the Swiss population. With a net increase of around 50,000 patronages in 2015 (+2 %), it once again registered a growth. “We are delighted at the ever increasing support and our continued popularity,” says Rega CEO, Ernst Kohler. “This shows that Rega is both needed and valued.”
Advances have been made not only in terms of its aircraft, but also in the sphere of administration. In 2015, Rega completely modernised its patronage administration system. Now, for the first time, all those included in a single Rega patronage can be individually recorded: at the end of 2015, a total of 3,283,000 patrons supported Rega with their annual contributions.
Rega Media Service